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  1. #31

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    re: NTPOST article: Handicap Tour guides for hire at Disney Parks to get GAC (Merged)

    Quote Originally Posted by Garthilk View Post
    Isn't there a simple solution to this?

    1) Make every line ADA compliant.
    That won't fix it.. because the accomodation many are using the GAC for is not simply about wheelchair accessibility.. its for everything from behavior issues to muscular, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Garthilk View Post
    2) Enable ride scheduling.
    This has potential.. but has its own problems. You couldn't schedule disabled people and not others.. they would argue that is discrimination and not equal access.

    The root problem is Disney gives a universal 'skip the line' type of pass instead of giving the right accommodation for each type of disability. Disney's catch-all solution leaves it too attractive and makes it so people can't resist gaming the system.
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  2. #32

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    re: NTPOST article: Handicap Tour guides for hire at Disney Parks to get GAC (Merged)

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    I don't think there is a whole lot they can do. If this tour company was legitimately trying to sell tours to folks with special needs, what is wrong with that? The tour company wouldn't be allowed to ask about the nature of any medical condition any more than Disney does, and would simply have to take their word for it. This is no different than any guest who walks up to City Hall and asks for a GAC whether they have a legitimate need or not.
    Except the company was advertising how they can optimize your trip (not just disabled people.. anyone) and skirt boasting how they use the special access to Fastpass attractions as how they improve your trip.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyjeff View Post
    Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

  3. #33

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    re: NTPOST article: Handicap Tour guides for hire at Disney Parks to get GAC (Merged)

    Quote Originally Posted by Acpisme View Post
    Having several friends with legitimate needs use the GAC (and not always in conjunction with a scooter or wheelchair rental) make me think that such business practices and anyone deliberately bringing someone to use them is wrong. It is such a struggle for those with no real outward appearance of an issue to gain assistance. These types of abuse make it even worse for them. The GAC is in place so that people with an issue have a shot at enjoying the parks, because without them that might not be a possibility. People that abuse are what causes other people with legitimate issues having to put up with comments and nasty looks, and possibly losing the hand up it provides them. How would someone feel if having done something like this causes someone who legitimately needs it to lose it and force them to not being able to visit?

    I'm guessing the entitled parents in the article wouldn't care, but frankly they and anyone else doing so should!
    This. Completely. Here's an illustration:

    I've experienced GAC/disabled visits to the park as a companion before, but today I did a solo trip. This was my first experience having a GAC myself. I have a bad knee injury that is waiting for surgery and while I'm fine (albeit hurting) standing and walking, I can't do steps right now. The knee just doesn't bend and hold weight on steps.

    I got a GAC that allows me to bypass stairs. It's not a front of the line pass, it simply allows me to take an elevator, if there is one, or an alternative entrance or exit to avoid steps.

    I only had to use it a few times, on rides like RSR and Space Mountain. In all cases I waited in the regular queues (I Fastpassed both) and went over for assistance when I reached the front of the line because it was what I had been told to do. The CM at Space was totally rude about it and snapped at me. I also did receive a few glares/etc. when I was holding the GAC in the queue.

    And I have to think that was because of all the abuse that has happened. CMs aren't giving people the benefit of the doubt anymore. I had a monster knee brace and I was hobbling. I always waited my turn. When I got into ride vehicles it was clear that I wasn't moving too well. All the same, that little blue card now carries a bad rep and some are inclined to think that anyone holding one is a scammer. Including the CMs. They're also inclined to think all GACs work the same way. Mine didn't let me jump lines. If it was an hour wait I was going to be there an hour. I just wouldn't be taking the stairs to exit or enter the ride.

    That's why "tour guides" like these are bad. They mean that the people who really need GACs aren't going to get the help and consideration they need.

  4. #34

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    re: NTPOST article: Handicap Tour guides for hire at Disney Parks to get GAC (Merged)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stormy View Post
    I'll clarify myself. I don't have a problem with any business that facilitates vacations for the disabled. I think that part of it is a great service. I do have a problem when that same business charges $130.00/hour to have one of their own disabled employees accompany a non-disabled family to Disney World so that that family can use her GAC, which is apparently what they are/were doing.
    How disabled is disabled enough to need/deserve a GAC?

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    Except the company was advertising how they can optimize your trip (not just disabled people.. anyone) and skirt boasting how they use the special access to Fastpass attractions as how they improve your trip.
    I didn't see the website before it was changed, but surely a website advertising tours for disabled adults can advertise their understanding and use of the GAC as an important part of their service? It seems to me that there are enough disabled adults out there that would skip a trip to a disney park without the use of the GAC.

  5. #35

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    re: NTPOST article: Handicap Tour guides for hire at Disney Parks to get GAC (Merged)

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    How disabled is disabled enough to need/deserve a GAC?

    I'll clarify my clarification, even though my prior posts did state that I have no problem with the GAC program and at no time did I indicate that the employee in question was not truly disabled and did not deserve her GAC. Please don't read things into my posts that are not there.

    This business was hiring out a disabled employee (who has a GAC for her own proper use) to be a 'tour guide' for families with NO DISABLED family members (i.e. a family that would NOT qualify for a GAC) for the express and only purpose of said family using the tour guide's GAC to 'skip lines'. This is NOT in keeping with Disney's rules nor the intent of their GAC program.

    I have no problem with the idea of a GAC and there are many disabled people who truly benefit from it. Under the current rules I qualify for one to avoid stairs, but choose not to use one. Mainly because of the rampant mis-use (such as this company's 'VIP tour') & the resulting rude comments and snotty looks from some guests who assume that others are 'cheating'. I could do more and move about the park more easily & with less pain if I used one. Instead I choose to just take my time with the stairs on certain rides & let others pass me, and along with sitting breaks & meds, I do OK. To put it in other words, I'll manage the stairs to avoid the stares.
    Last edited by Stormy; 05-15-2013 at 08:13 AM.
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  6. #36

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    re: NTPOST article: Handicap Tour guides for hire at Disney Parks to get GAC (Merged)

    Flame away, but I can't see how inviting a friend with a GAC, whether you pay for their ticket or not, just so you can use their GAC privileges, is any better. Using a friend or acquaintance vs. paying to use a stranger? Six of one...

  7. #37

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    re: NTPOST article: Handicap Tour guides for hire at Disney Parks to get GAC (Merged)

    Quote Originally Posted by lalolovesme View Post
    Flame away, but I can't see how inviting a friend with a GAC, whether you pay for their ticket or not, just so you can use their GAC privileges, is any better.
    You're right, that would be pretty despicable too.

  8. #38

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    re: NTPOST article: Handicap Tour guides for hire at Disney Parks to get GAC (Merged)

    Quote Originally Posted by whoever View Post
    Simple solution... when a GAC and group shows up at the exit or wherever they show up... take the posted wait time, and let them wait. Seems pretty simple...
    Sounds simple, but it really isn't. An example of this is we were a party of 15. My daughter (with her hearing dog) and my mother waited at the handicap area while the rest of our party went through the regular line. Then, when it was our time to enter (we waited in the line) we needed to be pulled asside to wait, as they are limited to the number of disabled guests on the ride, so we waited an additional 5-8 mins. Then we rode the elevator, and went to the waiting area to board, thus another 10 min delay for the right doom buggy to arrive, because we were a disabled party. So, while we did wait the appropriate time in line, we were still delayed an additional 15-18 mins. Personally, it didn't bother me, but when people say "Make them wait just as long", they don't get that we often wait LONGER.
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  9. #39

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    re: NTPOST article: Handicap Tour guides for hire at Disney Parks to get GAC (Merged)

    Quote Originally Posted by DonaldMissingPants View Post
    well... not necessarily. getting a discount at Best Buy doesn't affect anyone else (except for Best Buy). This affects other guests because it increases the wait for other GAC guests and regular line guests at most attractions.
    Actually, it does. It affects Best Buy’s bottom line which directly affects the consumer, just as people abusing the GAC system directly affects those who use it correctly.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonaldMissingPants View Post
    I think that Disney should do what they did with RSR so that the regular queue can accommodate wheelchairs so that everyone, even GAC, wait the same line. Then people wouldn't cheat the system and people that legitimately need GAC won't get the stink eye or be called out.
    Unfortunately, with space being at a premium in Disneyland, it just isn’t feasible to totally redesign the queues of those older rides. Fantasyland is a perfect example. Right now there is not a lot of room to move around in the castle courtyard as it is. If they had to extend out all those lines so that they were wide enough for wheel chairs, it would be even worse. Luckily, the ADA doesn’t require that. It only says that there needs to be “reasonable accommodation”.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonaldMissingPants View Post
    Or they could slow down the GAC line so that the wait in the stand by and the GAC line are the same
    The GAC and standby waits will never be the same. Most of the time the GAC line is longer.
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  10. #40

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    re: NTPOST article: Handicap Tour guides for hire at Disney Parks to get GAC (Merged)

    A quote from a Yahoo Shine article, "Disney World Scheme: Entitled Families Hire Disabled Guide to Bypass Lines"

    ...Disney is taking the matter seriously, according to spokesperson Bryan Malenius, who told Yahoo! Shine, "We are thoroughly reviewing the situation and will take appropriate steps to deter this type of activity." He added, "It is unacceptable to abuse accommodations that were designed for guests with disabilities."

    ...Using a false disability claim to skip lines is not a new trick, unfortunately. A recent Wall Street Journal story documented the trend of travelers requesting the use of complimentary wheelchairs in airports as a technique of getting pushed to the front of security lines, only to leap up and sprint to their gates once they have clearance. "We call them 'miracles.' They just start running with their heavy carry-ons," longtime wheelchair attendant Kenny Sanchez noted.

    It's also not unheard of at other amusement parks, apparently. King told Shine that, just the other day, she heard about someone who borrowed his grandmother's wheelchair for his day at New Jersey's Six Flags Great Adventure in order to avoid waiting in queues.

    "It's outrageous. This practice is hurting people with disabilities who legitimately can't stand in line, as the more people who do it, the more resentful people get," King explained. "Disney World and other places can't really ask people about their disabilities in order to curtail fraud, so they have to take people at face value. But anytime fraud happens, it hurts people who really need services."

    Thanks to new MiceChat member cjwestby who first posted the link in the WDW Forum's parallel thread on this topic!
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  11. #41

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    re: NTPOST article: Handicap Tour guides for hire at Disney Parks to get GAC (Merged)

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    No, not really - you missed the entire story. The story is about people paying for a tour.. with the intention of using the GAC to cut the lines. The fact the tour guide legitimately needs the GAC or not really isn't of substance when it comes to the morality of those using the tour company for this reason alone.

    Separately, the tour guide using the GAC for this purpose is totally gaming Disney's system. They really skirted saying they use the GAC for the tours on their website.. but it's damn close.
    There's a difference if the person using the GAC is legitimately disabled. The situation I found myself in was despicable. Part of the Post's story is that some of the mom's were asking how to make their children look disabled in order to get a GAC and bypass lines. That's horrific.

    I think this is something different, if it is a legitimately disabled person using the GAC.

    As far as the morality of it, it's a bit more complicated. A group of friends and I have APs. One of our friends just had knee surgery. Now, if we all go to Disneyland with this person and are able to bypass some lines, is that in itself immoral? No. What if I am lukewarm on going, but then it occurs to me that I may get through some lines quicker so I decide to go? Does that make me immoral and no one else? So now we're judging people based on what we think they are thinking when they perform an action? I can't get behind that as being somehow immoral. What if this friend didn't have an AP and wanted to go to Disneyland with us and I said, "You can come, and I will even buy your ticket because you'll help us get through some lines quicker. It'll offset some of the difficulty of maneuvering around Disneyland with a wheelchair." Is that immoral?

    Then we get to this situation--paying someone who is disabled to accompany you to Disneyland and in doing so help avoid some lines. Does it make a difference if I know the person? What if I paid for my friend's ticket, every meal, and handed the person some spending money? Is that immoral? Or is it only immoral when I don't know the person and I pay them an hourly wage?

    I'm not trying to be dense, play devil's advocate, or waste time. I'm really trying to pinpoint the outrage.

  12. #42

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    re: NTPOST article: Handicap Tour guides for hire at Disney Parks to get GAC (Merged)

    Quote Originally Posted by loungefly97 View Post
    I'm not trying to be dense, play devil's advocate, or waste time. I'm really trying to pinpoint the outrage.
    To me, the Disney spokesperson's statement in the Yahoo! Shine article I quoted above makes it crystal clear: "It is unacceptable to abuse accommodations that were designed for guests with disabilities."

    Regardless of who does it, or what justifications they offer in their defense, it is unacceptable.

    Simple.

    So far as "outrage," I think it will vary from person to person, depending on how instinctive is their sense of (and sensitivity to) social injustice.
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  13. #43

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    re: NTPOST article: Handicap Tour guides for hire at Disney Parks to get GAC (Merged)

    I noticed what appeared to be something similar to this last week, tbh. There would be massive groups of 9-12 people with one handicapped guest and they would all skip the line. I'm not saying everyone in an ECV or wheelchair is cheating the system, but it appears that a lot more are these days. It's something to be scrutinized for sure. Either that or they need to limit the amount of people who can skip the line with a disabled guest if you aren't immediate family. Letting 4-5 people skip is a lot different than letting 12 skip.

    I also noticed tons of people skipping the line with GAC cards who didn't seem disabled or ill in any way, but that is for another thread.
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  14. #44

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    re: NTPOST article: Handicap Tour guides for hire at Disney Parks to get GAC (Merged)

    Quote Originally Posted by DrFink View Post
    I noticed what appeared to be something similar to this last week, tbh. There would be massive groups of 9-12 people with one handicapped guest and they would all skip the line. I'm not saying everyone in an ECV or wheelchair is cheating the system, but it appears that a lot more are these days. It's something to be scrutinized for sure. Either that or they need to limit the amount of people who can skip the line with a disabled guest if you aren't immediate family. Letting 4-5 people skip is a lot different than letting 12 skip.

    I also noticed tons of people skipping the line with GAC cards who didn't seem disabled or ill in any way, but that is for another thread.
    We've noticed it several times since we started our frequent visits in February. Articles and things like this that go on is why I suck up my own disability (arthritis of the feet) and make sure I wear the most comfortable shoes and have my meds ready for all the walking. I would love to be able to just give my feet a break and coast around at the park, but since my disability is not very obvious, I would end up having to deal with all the evil eyes and side comments.
    I'll wait until my feet fall off.
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  15. #45

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    re: NTPOST article: Handicap Tour guides for hire at Disney Parks to get GAC (Merged)

    Do people not get front line access if they pay for the services of a tour guide? (plaid)

    This just seams like a lot of effort to save a bit of time...

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